I printed out the pattern and made it up this week. Since it is drafted for a B cup, I did a FBA, following the excellent instructions in the sew along. I did a quick muslin of the bodice, without the straps. Here lies my error, I think... had I thought to add the straps to my muslin, I think I would have realized that I had a problem. Without the straps, the muslin seemed to fit okay... the bust had sufficient volume and seemed to fit.
I continued merrily on my way. I was making a short version, camisole length, with china silk. I did a double layer bodice and serged all of the interior seams. I did french seams on the "skirt." I hemmed it, and attached the straps.
It looks lovely on the hanger.
Alas, the fit sucks. I did sort of realize the straps would be widely set, and that was not a dealbreaker for me. But I did not at all realize that the bodice would come up so high under my armpits-- that is what makes it truly unwearable for me.
It looks especially terrible with this bra. But you can see the problem with the underarm height, and the bra (which is a racerback) shows about where I would like the straps on the slip to be.
I was so disappointed when I first put it on that I just wanted to wad it up and throw it in the trash. But, I think this is perhaps not so difficult to fix, and cutting a new bodice wouldn't use much fabric. I need to adjust the top of the triangle cup to be about 1-1.5 inches more towards the center, and scoop out the underarm 1.5-2 inches.
The need for these adjustments caught me by surprise since I can't recall seeing a review of this pattern that mentions these problems. Many of the reviews I've read have been from leaner sewists who are probably sewing the smaller sizes and have slender arms, and many of the reviewers show it on their dress forms (for good reasons, especially those made with lace bodices, as the pattern suggests). Looking back, I can see that the armhole is pretty high even on smaller women.
It is probably worth the work, since I do like this design for a slip, and the bias skirt is a nice touch. The other slip pattern I have in the sewing queue is Butterick 6031, but this is for knits. Oddly enough, looking at the Butterick pattern, I would bet I will have the same problems with it-- overly wide set straps and high on the underarm. Is that a thing with slips-- are they purposefully designed this way? Thinking about it, I could sort of see it... wide set straps would prevent the straps from being seen on many dress styles, and perhaps the peek of lace from your slip is preferrable to showing bare underarms? Am I reading too much into this?
That doesn't mean I have to like it though-- that's definitely one of the benefits of sewing. If I want a slip/camisole with straps set securely on my shoulders (there is nothing I hate more than having straps slip off my shoulders all day long) and a low cut on the underarm, I can make it that way!
So, back to the seamripper and the drawing board for this one, and perhaps there will be another version forthcoming!